AIR Modeller 54


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Issue 54 cover_Layout 1 11/05/2014 14:30 Page 1

54 JUNE / JULY 2014 • £6.50 UK $14.95


JUNE / JULY 2014

& polish



Mirage IIIS Albert Tureczek shows us there’s life in the old Revell 1:32 kit.


Me Bf 109G-14 One of Germany’s final fighters modelled by Josef Blazek.


CH47-D Chinook Eric Powell details Trumpeter’s 1:35 green giant.


Spitfire MkII A The Editor ploughs straight into a test shot of the brand new 1:32 Revell kit.


Big Bird B-17, Part 5 The Editor continues his build of HK Models spectacular 1:32 Flying Fortress.


Air Born New releases.


AN-26 Aleksandar Šekularac builds the big Russian transporter in Serbian Service

Meng AIR Modeller is published Bimonthly by AFV Modeller ltd Old Stables East Moor Stannington Northumberland NE61 6ES Tel: 01670 823648 Fax: 01670 820274 email: [email protected] Editor and Designer: David Parker Deputy Editor: Mark Neville Sales Director: Keith Smith

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In 1961 the Swiss Air Force decided on a serious upgrade of their aerial defence capabilities and ordered the Marcel Dassault Mirage III. With the Doppler terrain following radar, Mach 2 capability and the IBIS fire control system the Mirage was cutting edge technology in 1961. 100 of these supersonic fighters were ordered in 1961 but they had to be customised to fit special Swiss requirements. These alterations were structural and so extensive that the Swiss Air Force received a very different version, which was known as the MIRAGE III S. The changes included a complete new radar and fire control system, the HUGHES TARAN 18, which could fire the AIM 26B Falcon and the SIDEWINDER missiles instead of the French MATRA 530. Further alterations included an extendable nose gear, strengthening of the airframe, leading edges, landing gear and the adaption of JATO bottles. The original 2

Doppler radar had only limited use in a mountainous region and takeoffs and landings in this environment put a special strain on the airframes and landing gear. The aircraft also were stored in mountain caverns and the extended nose gear helped in lowering the tail fin in order to pass the low entrances of these caverns. Once in service however, the Swiss Mirages performed outstandingly, were loved by the pilots and remained in Service until 1988. In 1980 all aircraft underwent an extensive midlife update, which featured the addition of canard wings and the adoption of a two tone Low-Viz grey paint scheme as the most recognisable features. Beside the MIRAGE III S the Swiss Air Force also operated the Recon version III R with the camera nose and the III B trainer version, in total 61 machines, of which only three were lost due to accidents.

THE MODEL The model is a real classic and I bought mine in Perth/ Scotland in 2003, when I was there for the Scottish Nationals. It was very cheap and still had the same box art as it had way back when I got it for the first time as a Christmas present in 1974. I have always had a weak spot for the Mirage and I wanted to add another one to my collection. I knew the kit already and was very aware of the task ahead, which would not be an easy one. The kit is 60’s style with all the flaws and shortcomings of the period, in other words, a real challenge. The basic shape however and the dimensions are very sound and provide a solid starting point.


GETTING TO WORK My project started with a nail, a simple metal nail available from every DIY supplier. I started to work on one to shape the distinctive nose pitot of the Mirage III, to me the single most characteristic feature of the plane and a clear focal point on the model. No other fighter has this specially drop-shaped pitot and the kit part here is a joke. After shaping the nail and even hollowing it at the top with some superfine metal burrs I had a fine MIRAGE Pitot. All I had to do now was to build the model around it. I started the building with the nose, with the pitot fitted into the two nose halves and secured with Resin on the inside. To be on the safe side I added some weight inside the nose cone to avoid “tail-sitting”. The kit provides the entire jet engine which will have to be incorporated into the two fuselage halves, together with the cockpit. The cockpit with pilot figure is shaped very roughly, typical of a late sixties kit. The instrument panel was a flat piece of plastic with a nice decal. THE COCKPIT I started by building up the side panels with the consoles, switches and chart pockets. Next was the rear bulkhead and the uneven floor with the pedals. The rear cockpit bulkhead in the Mirage III is a very complex thing and was built up mostly with Evergreen styrene parts. The Martin Baker Mk 5 ejection seat was built from Styrene sheet containing the cushion, which was shaped from Milliput. The distinctive handles for the release were added from lead wire. The rather complex pilot harness with the belts was made from various folded sheets of lead foil. The Swiss Mirage had very different instrument layout from its French sister. The HUD and the instrument panel had a different appearance all together and the interior colour was overall mint green. I mixed the colour from metallic green and aluminium, 4

because I could not find an exact match from standard colours. The instrument panel was built up with two pieces of Evergreen styrene sheet on top of each other. I drew the circles of the instruments on the top sheet and punched them out with my WALDRON Punch and die. After this I placed them on top of each other and airbrushed a thin matt black layer on both sheets. Now I had the perfect black circles on my lower sheet, on to which I could draw the markings. For this I used a very sharp scriber from FLEX-I-FILE. This instrument allows you to change the tips to different strengths according to the job you need them for. After finishing that I had to put the needles into the gauges. The needles were cut from very thin sheet and placed inside the bezel with the help of a No 11 surgical blade and some gloss varnish. Some instruments needed a little colour spot in red and white and the artificial horizon was made from a piece of styrene rod, sanded to a half round shape and painted blue/white, with the measuring lines scribed on. After finishing up this job I placed the top sheet over the base sheet with a little distance added by some very thin plastic pieces glued between the two sheets. To complete it I punched out round bezel glass from clear plastic sheet and closed every instrument gauge with it. I used MICRO STIX from FLEX-I-FILE to place the glass parts onto each instrument and sealed them with clear coat. The switches and levers were made from rod, and various pieces of wire. Only one thing remained for me before the cockpit module was ready for fitting: The control stick. It had to be replaced with an entirely new and custom-made stick, which also had to be painted mint green. The canopy and front windshield were too thick and distorted the view through it, so I thinned it out by sanding both parts down. This way I could align the windshield perfectly with the airframe. This was not a problem for the canopy, as I would place it in open position. I built a frame from plastic strip around the glass canopy. 5

The reworked clear parts were polished to

of Swiss modellers calling themselves

construction I painted the parts with

high gloss appearance. And the framing

“Matterhorn Circle”, but I had made a

polished steel from Humbrol. This could

covered with metal foil, just like the rest of

promise to myself to avoid all aftermarket

then easily be polished to the desired

the model.

products and use only kit parts and things I


could make on my own, so this tempting



option was avoided. The parts for the


Revell promoted the engine as a special

exhaust were cut from metal foil. The large

The overall shape of the airframe is

feature of the kit when it was released. It

exhaust nozzle contains an inner nozzle,

captured amazingly well by the Revell kit,

was a module, which could be taken out of

which can be regulated in diameter

right down to the twisted wingtips, but that

the model to be displayed. The module

involving a lot of structural parts to be

is about all the compliments I can pay it.

was placed inside the model into a

added. I could not use lead foil for this

The panel lines are all raised, and they are

bulkhead, and this bulkhead is important to

task, it was simply too soft and I had to

scattered randomly across the surface, not

the structural stability of the model so I

find a stiffer metal. I found this on top of

even close to the real thing. I did not really

decided to use it, but without the engine.

the wine bottles from Hardy’s, an

mind that because all of the raised detail

Instead I built a new one with the

Australian producer. The foil is much stiffer

would have to be sanded down anyway so

characteristic waved surface in layers,

and thicker then the usual lead foil but can

my starting point was a clean surface.

which could be permanently mounted into

be bent and shaped and even ground with

Armed with accurate plans and drawings I

the bulkhead. I made the layers from lead

a motor tool. This provided me with an

could recreate a whole new surface. For

sheet in several modules, which were

excellent alternative to lead foil and I have

this I used templates from HASEGAWA

glued into one another. For the engine I

used it extensively ever since. My wine

and my scribing Instruments. The air

used parts from a cannibalised electric

cellar now always stores a necessary

intakes, which are a focal point of every

shaver which came in very handy! The

amount of the relevant bottles. A mix of

Mirage model, were redesigned. They are

afterburner section was another story.

plastic rod and other foil was used to

too thick at the edges and the cone is not

There is an excellent resin up date

recreate the rather complex inside of the

clearly defined, but is made in one piece

afterburner section available from a group

exhaust section. After finishing

with the back plate. I separated the two

parts and replaced the back plate

the airframe there are lots of vents,

with a very thin one from sheet

grills, outlets and small air intakes.

styrene. After this the edge of the

Revell depicts these with small

cone towards the airframe could be

plastic humps, if at all. I removed all

sanded to a very sharp edge. I

those humps and cut holes into the

covered the cone with lead foil and

surface. After this I added the

added the missing access panel.

intakes or small ventilation panels

The air intakes were glued onto the

made up from stiff Metal foil, which

new construction after they were

was cut to shape and recessed into

sanded as sharp as a knife edge.

the surface to align the newly

There is a gap between airframe and

fabricated additions smoothly into

air intake, which was filled with resin.

the surface. There were quite a lot of

The Gun ports on the underside of

these surface additions and they

each air intake were missing

were very time-consuming. But

completely. Only a little recess hinted

these small details really create a

at the position of the Mirage’s main

difference to the standard model.

armament, the 30 mm DEFA gun. I

The surface alterations also included

cut out the space needed for the

an emergency release box for the

gun and created the inside with

pilot situated on each side of the

metal foil. The gun barrels were

cockpit behind the canopy. Revell

assembled from Copper tube from

provides these with very nice decals,

ALBION ALLOY, painted with

but I wanted a 3D version of this

polished steel. Finally the muzzle

feature and cut the holes into the

deflectors ware added, made from

airframe to provide some homebuilt

EVERGREEN sheet styrene. All over

emergency exit release boxes,


complete with the release handle, bent from wire and the glass cover, which had to be broken on the real one to gain access. The tail cone, containing the exhaust nozzle is provided as a removable part by Revell but this results in a poor fit of the part onto the model with a big step between airframe and tail cone, because the tail cone is simply too large in diameter. The brake chute housing on top of the tail cone, situated between airframe and vertical stabilizer is too thin and too short and had to be removed and replaced by a new design. I made one from Rod and resin. In the same process I narrowed the tail cone in diameter and aligned it with the airframe. Talking about fitting there is another issue with Revells big Mirage. The wings fit to the airframe reveals a gap of considerable width on both sides and the thickness of the wing does not work with the thickness of the wing-root. I used resin to correct this. I also separated the flaps from the wings to re-position them at s slightly dropped angle. The wing and flaps are moulded in one piece and support each other. Cutting off the flaps resulted in the collapse of the wings and I had to build an internal structure to correct this. This was made from plastic and resin, which also could cover for the inside edges of the dropped flaps. The position and anticollision lights were replaced all together, or rather they were designed and built in as they are completely absent on the model. For this I used mainly coloured LEGO glass parts. On the wing surface I had to drill out the housings and create the lights with foil, covered by glass made with the Punch & Die set. The fairing for the lights on top of the tail fin were made from metal foil fitted with coloured and clear glass parts. The next point on the surface list was the creation of the tensioned metal skin effect. The metal panels on a plane is never completely smooth. I created the variations in the surface by sanding and grinding the surface with rubber points and polishing cloths from ALBION ABRASIVES. This was followed by the addition of rivets, thousands of them. I recreated these by


pressing the tip of a sharp needle into the

extra detailed on both sides, before I

precision tool, which I fortunately have

plastic surface. A slight polish afterwards

duplicated them in resin.

access to at my work). I now only had to

created the rivet effect. For alignment I

After this the entire landing gear was built

place an aluminium tube inside the main

used templates from HASEGAWA,

up using plastic rod and a good deal of

wheels to correctly position the wheels.

VERLINDEN and masking tape from

ALBION ALLOYS metal tubes and slide fit

The nose wheel strut has a forked shape


tubing sets. They come in very handy here,

where it protrudes from the wheel well. I

but I need them to expand their range

kept the main nose gear strut, but


even further in the future! I had a hard time

removed everything else. The nose gear

The landing gear was one of the major

finding useable oleo struts and eventually

was built in a similar way to the main gear

headaches on the kit. While having

they were provided by using dental burrs. I

with metal tubing and plastic parts. I

depicted the overall shape pretty well,

found the metal burrs also replicate the

added 3mm lenses from GREIF to fit my

Revell falls short from the target here. The

particular colour of these special parts

model with the specific twin landing light

undercarriage is a joke and does not even

exactly. The only trouble was that they had

mounting of the MIRAGE III E/S. After that

come close the complex construction of

to be cut and shaped, in order to fit. Not

there was an awful lot of wiring to be done!

the real thing. I started by cutting out the

an easy thing to do as they are made of

I used various diameters of copper wire,

main wheel wells and replacing them with

hardened metal but Carborundum

insulation and lead wire of various

new deeper ones made from sheet

separation discs and an instrument from


styrene. Having them in place I had to

the dental range did the job for me.

Next on the to do list were the wheel well doors. They were stripped of their moulded

build up all the inside structure and details of all the wheel wells, for which I used

Another challenge is the position of the

on details, reshaped and refitted with new

various plastic structures and sheet in

Main gear struts. When viewed from the

parts. After this treatment they were set

different thickness. The wheels are too

front the main landing gear angles inwards

aside to await their final positioning on the

thin, but were the only parts I used from

and first straightens to vertical at the


the original landing gear. I widened them

height of the wheel. This presented a

by adding 1mm plastic fillet between the

structural problem for me, as I had to


two halves. Sanding them to the proper

ensure the stability of my design to carry a

The Swiss Mirage also featured a special

shape and profiling them was no difficulty.

considerable weight of the finished model.

1000 litre external tank. This tank could not

The nose wheel needed a little less

I decided to bend steel rod and weld steel

be dropped and was fixed to the aircraft.

thickness. The brake housing on the Main

profiles on each side of the angled struts

Revell provides a fighter-bomber version of

wheel inside was built up and the rim was

with our micro laser welding gear. (This is a

the jet and both tanks had hard points to 9

accept the bombs. The Swiss did not use

missile. They are not moveable however,

least 5 machines, French, Swiss and

this configuration and I removed the

but they give that impression. The Swiss

Australian, complete with all the relevant

moulded on hinges on the parts. The tips

Air Force had a really strange colour for

stencilling, and are of the highest quality. I

of the tanks also need to be sharpened.

their Sidewinders. I would call it desert

had singled out a machine stationed in

The tanks lack any surface detail and after

pink, at least that is what I painted mine

Buochs with a different serial number than

sanding I rescribed them. Covering them

with. The launch rail is part of the flap and

provided on the sheet. The Alpine

with metal foil was quite challenging due to

had therefore be separated and replaced

MIRAGES had their coding on the tail with

their convex shape. Also quite unique for

because of the dropped flaps of my model.

all the fighters having the letter J for JÄGER and the photo versions an R for

the Alpine Mirage was the Sidewinder AIM9. The kit provides two external hard points


Reconnaissance, followed by a 4 digit

and two missiles. The launchers can be

The Swiss MIRAGES were organised in two

number. The Swiss used a special shaped

used after a thorough rework; the missiles

squadrons, and I chose mine as a member

“3” which was provided correctly on the

however are useless. I raided my scrap

of FLIEGERSTAFFEL 16. simply because I

decal sheet for the tail, but not for the nose

box and fount two 32nd Sidewinder from

loved the blue emblem on the tail fin with

gear door. Even my Letraset scrap box did

the TAMIYA F-14 kit. They were not AIM 9,

the dragon in it. The decals supplied with

not feature these special numbers. I solved

but still a good starting point. I stripped the

this kit are the only real improvement on

the problem by dividing two numbers and

fins, sanded, reshaped and detailed the tail

the kit since I had the first one in 1974. The

using the upper part of the number 7. The

fins and cut some new ones from Metal

decal sheet is impressive and the largest

rest of the decals were great to work with

foil. These fins I anchored inside an

and most comprehensive decal sheet I

and did their job very well.

ALBION brass tube and fixed them into the

have ever seen. There are decals for at

This left me with one thing only, the access ladder and the wheel chock, sixties style. The MIRAGE access ladder is a tiny aluminium construction, painted in signal yellow, which could be plugged into the side of the cockpit. They look really cool and they are not provided in the kit and I wanted one. I took my hobby to my work again and bent the frame from 1.3 mm steel wire. Then I welded the whole construction together with our Micro welding Laser unit, which I use every day. That was a relatively simple task. The same method was used for the wheel chocks. Now the model was finished and needed a proper display base. To show the interesting belly of my Mirage, which was actually much more work than the upper side I decided on a mirror. I selected an oval one and wanted the Swiss cross to be in the middle. Being a Dental Technician has provided me with certain privileges over the years and this is another one. We have a sandblasting unit at work so I masked the Swiss cross in the middle, leaving the rest to be sandblasted. A Saturday morning was used on this project and it rounded up my Alpine MIRAGE project.



right at my doorstep and even though I

It is just like with a renovation of an old

cannot make these kits as fast as a

house, you start by tearing down and

modern kit and use up a lot of time on

throwing out. You have to choose what to

them, the result is worth while for me and

keep, what to rework and what to replace.

the chance of meeting “clones” of your

A lot of modellers find that very stressful

model at the next model show, because it

and they don’t want to waste precious time

is the newest super kit everybody has to

on these kind of kits. I love this challenge

built is remote. I just wish I had the Mirage

even though I also appreciate the

I originally built during my Christmas

wonderful new kits pouring onto the

holidays in the 1970s. It would be really

market. They do not challenge the creative

interesting however to see both beside

side in me. Taking on a project involving an

each other today!

old kit like this really puts the challenge




The inspiration for this build were

1945. I immediately started looking

some documentries about the last

for a suitable kit and accessories. For

days of World War II in

the construction I chose the

Czechoslovakia that were shown on

Hasegawa kit. The kit has been

Czech television recently. I saw a lot

around for a number of years and

of interesting paint schemes and

contains good quality moulding, but in

planned a tank project, but during the

many places lags behind modern

evening I found on the Montex

standards. In order to improve the

website a nice set of masks with

model I used a photo etched set from

Master barrels for a 1:32 scale

Eduard, Quickboost exhausts, Aires

Messerschmitt Bf-109G-14 from the

G-10 cockpit and of course the afore

last days of the Second World War

mentioned masks and barrels from

which operated from Pilsen in May




I started with the cockpit which I had to

step when using different mediums as it

next day, I wiped away the excess black.

modify from the G-10 version to a G-14 but

will unify the surface ready for the top coat.

Gradually, I spotted individual shades of

the conversion was not too complicated as

For painting I used a shade of RLM 66 from

light oil paints to lighten raised areas which

it was only necessary to move or remove a

Aqueous Hobby Colours range by Gunze.

lift the detail still further. Pigments were

few instruments. The quality of castings

Centres of panels and instruments are

applied for realistic dirt and dust that is

from Aires was great and therefore it was

lightened by adding a drop of white paint

visible in photos frequently used aircraft,

not necessary to add any further details.

to the base colour for contrast and to

this is especially prevalent on rough

For a more realistic look I replaced the

create an illusion of depth. Details were

airfields used towards the end of the war.

photo etched seat belts with textile belts

hand painted using Tamiya acrylics and

Finally, the little details were cemented in

from HGW. The kit’s instrument panel was

then everything was coated with gloss

place in order that the whole assembly

used because after using the decals the

varnish- Gunze Super Clear III. I started the

was ready to be mounted into the

result was more realistic than the resin

weathering with black which increases the


casting from Aires. In preparation, the

contrast still further in the cockpit. I left the

cockpit was primed; this is an important

parts to dry thoroughly overnight and the

Next step was detailing of the wheel bays.

think it is very good to spend time

model is very good with only a small

The Hasegawa kit lacks any details on the

improving a model with rivets in a large

amount of filler required in a few places.

side-walls of wheel bays, but the quick

scale such as is 1:32. To help keep the

For the gluing I used a combination of

solution to this problem is with PE parts. By

lines equally spaced and parallel, I used a

Gunze Mr. Cement S and Mr. Cement

their nature they are quite difficult to fit

pencil to outline where I wanted to apply

Deluxe. This combination results in very

unless they are pre formed.

them. The rivets were formed using a

strong bonds and therefore risk of damage

Before gluing main parts I added the

riveting tool and the surfaces were

is very slight. Once dry, a quick final tidy up

complete lines of rivets and other surface

smoothed by a gentle rub down with 2000

with 1000 grade abrasive was used in

details. This step is slightly time consuming

grade sanding paper. The basic

preparation for the painting stage.

but the model looks so much better for it. I

construction was very simple. The fit of the



My favourite paints are Tamiya and Gunze.

and is quick and efficient. The overall effect

To aid adhesion of decals I

In my opinion they are ideal combination of

is to lighten the paint which is fine as

used Mr. Mark Setter and Mr. Mark

adhesion, robustness, fineness of pigments

subsequent weathering will darken things

Softener by Gunze. Now I could start

and authentic tones. I started the painting

down again. All that was left to finish off

creating wear and tear of this heavily used

with the yellow ID areas. It is better to start

the camouflage was the RLM 75. The RLM

aircraft. On most of my models I use the

colouring with brighter shades such as red,

74 was masked before the usual routine of

same procedure consisting of wash, filters,

yellow or blue in advance because their

lightening the base tone. This now left the

post shades, abrasions and dust. The first

pigment does not cover very well and

fuselage mottling and my method was to

one is a wash that is applied over the

colour density is lost, so I recommend

use masks. It is necessary to put the

entire surface. I let it dry overnight and the

weathering these using post shades after

masks in the right place because touch

next day wipe the paint from the surface

completing the camouflage. As with most

ups would be quite a challenge. Now the

using a cotton bud dipped in thinner.

modellers, the next shade to be painted

entire model was varnished with Gunze

Around the cockpit and in places where

was the RLM 76 light blue and when this

Super Clear III as a base for decals.

the ground crew would work I apply filters.

was dry, highlights were applied by

The stencils in the kit decals were poor

It is a very effective method for fine

lightening the base colour with white. Now

quality so I replaced them with Revell’s

resolution of individual parts of the aircraft

it was time for the upper surfaces but

from their new release which are a big

and helps towards a more realistic model.

unusually I started with the RLM 74 which


For streaked grime and scrapes, I switched

is the darker shade; and you won’t be

to oil colours and AK interactive enamel

surprised to hear this was also highlighted

products. It is important to constantly refer

with a lighter tone. I really like this

to images and references in order to keep

technique as it adds depth to the model

the process looking realistic.

Montex Masks are ideal for the white balkancruz, decals would have a large area of carrier film to hide in the centres

All that was left to do was to attach the canopy, landing gear, propeller and antennas. These small parts I always paint and weather separately for easier handling and attach them at the end. I made the cable of the antenna from the plastic sprue stretched out over a flame. I painted the wire to black and fixed it in the appropriate place, with that the Messerschmitt was finished.



I really enjoyed the construction of this model, these older kits can be great fun. I can recommend Hasegawa’s kit to all modellers interested in the Luftwaffe inasmuch as it is well moulded and easy to put together whilst giving the modeller chance to upgrade the detail as they wish. I can’t wait for my next model of a Messerschmitt Bf-109 but this time I will go to town on the detail with a fully exposed engine!


Trumpeter’s 1:35

CH-47D chinook modelled and described by Eric Powell


The Immortal Warrior The first flight of the YCH-47 A Chinook took place in September 1961. Chinook is an American heavy transport helicopter easily recognizable with it’s two rotors and particular sound. More than 1,164 have been built. Crewed by three men they can carry 44 troops or 24 stretchers. The Chinook has a fantastic record of longevity being constantly modernized seeing large deployment in Vietnam and during the Gulf war, they are currently in action in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US Army transformed 479 CH -47 A/B/C to D models from 1982, currently, they are being transformed to standard CH - 47E ICH (Improved Cargo Helicopter). Large external, and internal, load capabilities and high airspeeds allow the CH-47D to do the work of three utility helicopters, and give it the lowest cost-per-ton-nautical-mile of any U.S. Army helicopter. 21

Almost ‘from the box’ The Chinook's cockpit arrangement is detailed enough from the box without any great need to add extra detail, the view is limited on the finished model.

The multi-part intake screens are really nice but they must be redetailed with styrene strips and plastic rivets. Exhaust nozzles were also changed.

I was really pleased a kit was released of

must be done carefully, with particular care

Even though the Trumpeter model fits well,

the famous twin rotor produced by Boeing-

to reproduce the fragile parts of the long

the whole assembly must be fixed carefully

Vertol helicopters by Trumpeter in 2005,

antenna set, the rotors, and both engines

when joining both parts of the fuselage

and in large 1:35 scale it makes an

with 24 parts per nacelle, this represents

together, this as always is the most

impressive display.

models within the model! The fit of the kit

delicate operation.

There are more than 270 parts moulded in

is very good which is a bonus as it’s the

To add adequate accuracy to the model

a very nice plastic, also included are

only 1:35 Chinook on the market.

several details like a new antenna frame

several other materials like metal items for

Before beginning the whole assembly, I

were replaced by a scratchbuilt set

the undercarriage and photo etched parts

managed to obtain a very good reference

composed of Evergreen and metal wire,

to refine the various air intakes, engine

book from Aerofax ‘Minigraph 27’ (written

which will have a more refined

mesh filters and the pilots seat belts.

by David Anderton and Jay Miller)

appearance. The unrealistic engine intake

The kit comes with a choice of two

dedicated to the CH-47 Beoing Helicopters

nozzles were greatly modified with plastic

different sets of markings, one for Desert

covering all kinds of details, and in great

card and Evergreen strips.

Storm 1991, 101st Airborne Division, the

detail! I also spent time searching the

other one belonging to the 159th Aviation

internet for details of the Chinooks during


the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

The basic Trumpeter model was built as per the instructions, the whole assembly

Retractible searchlights are masked to protect from the airbrushing to follow. Even underneath the antenna locations are rebuilt for more accuracy.

The engine nacels are equiped with air intake screens reproduced with photo etched parts and mesh for the appertures, all included in the kit. These were detailed with styrene stips and rods.


To give a more refind finished look, several details like a new UHF antenna were rebuilt with 0.5mm metal rods and Evergreen styrene strips.

Flare panels and other fittings often seen on the Chinooks during the Gulf War and Afghan conflicts were made with plastic card and styrene strips.

The engine nozzle is too small and rebuilt with plastic strips and metal bracing rods to reproduce the internal detail.


Paint and weathering Before proceeding with the final

Finally the model received several decals

construction, all the transparent areas were

between two coats of matt varnish. The

masked with Tamiya tape and Mr.Hobby

Micro Sol Setting Solution ensured more

Liquid Masking Solution, very practical for

flexibility allowing decals on detailed

protecting cylindrical shapes like the bubble

surfaces to soften for a ‘painted on’ look-

windows of the Chinook.

this can make the difference in a modelling

Before the final assembly of the fuselage,


the pilots’ compartment receives Vallejo

The weathering was composed of large

acrylic colours with the usual detailing

glossy stains and dry dusty areas renderd

highlights by lightening the base colours.

with the usual techniques. I referred to

Detail painting was also done with Vallejo

several web site pictures applying wet

giving a busy look to the cockpit and

‘blotches’ on the fuselage using different


shades of brown mixed with Magic Color

The painting process begins with Tamiya

airbrush ink lightely diluted with water.

primer sprayed all over the model to check

More shades are applied with a darkened

for any tiny defects, then dark grey shades

olive drab and pigment powders from Mig

are airbrushed along the chinook’s fuselage

Productions and CMK.

panel lines. This ‘pre-shading’ shows through the base colour giving depth to the

Afterwards, the rotors were airbrushed with

finish and scale effect. With photographs as

Auto-Air-Color matt black before masking

reference, the U.S. Army olivedrab base

the blade ends in order to paint the yellow

color was airbrushed with Vallejo Air Colors

tips, roots were detailed with brush painted

(n°43 + n°12) applied very thinly so you can

stripes in red and yellow. The rotor roots

see the pre-shade work.

and blades received a painted buff wash

For a more realistic look to the walk-ways I

and airbrushed dust coat and finally finished

airbrushed Vallejo black + dark green base,

by silver pencil scrapes and scratches.

this has a better finished look than using the decals and is probably easier to apply. A Magic Marker and a small ruler for the surrounding black lines gave an effective result.

After the primer, panel lines are shaded and the maintenance anti-glare panels are masked

To give the look of a dusty operational aircraft I applied pigment powders which were dusted off with a soft brush leaving dust collected in the recesses


Darker tones are sprayed by airbrush to show heavier wear around on the aft pylons, fuselage and tanks .

The various colours were mixed to shades that differed a little from the Olive drab Vallejo acrylic base colour adding interest and realism

On the rotor pylons, numbers are painted by hand. It is made easier by drawing before hand with a white artists’ pencil

In the desert you will find dust and dirt even on the propeller blade and roots. Stripes are painted by hand.

For the ground work, I had to refer to several pictures on the web of the US Army bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. I used a 65 x 50 cm wooden base which I PVA glued a 1 inch thick foam board, then I made the runway surround with a black ink pen and a long ruler for the pavement. The runway is painted dark green with a large brush before making natural shapes with a sponge and liquid Mr.Masking Sol. This was then airbrushed with a sand

colour and the random masks removed. A plaster layer added some texture around the hard-stand which was sprinkled with fine sand and ballast before painting. A well-constructed dynamic base will increase the appearance of your aircraft models immensely.As seen in the pictures, I like to use angles to enhance the presentation of the finished project.

Again, an artists’ pencil was used to highlight the panel gaps on the blades.


The Immortal Warrior



Initial Impressions

central armoured section of the windscreen moulded separately from

This is a test shot so there may be more tweaking

the rest of the windscreen. The gun sight,

planned before this is released,

mirror and navigation lights are also

but I found the kit a bit of a mix of moulding styles. The first thing you notice is the fully rivetted airframe in contrast to Revell’s recent 1:32 Bf 109 kits which are rivet-free. Now I like a rivetted finish, but it is very inconsistent across the kit with the wings looking great but over the fuselage the finish is much heavier. On the tail stabilizers which are moulded in two halves, the top surface is good and the underside heavy. Spitfires manufactured up to the Mk.V also featured distinctive domed rivets on the fuselage from the cockpit back to the tail, a detail which has not been replicated here sadly. The kit provides a reasonably well detailed cockpit with separately moulded pilot’s door and a seat which is happily free of 28

moulded on belts. A well detailed instrument panel is supplied along with a choice of a flat decal version. There are no individual instrument dials for the 3D instrument panel and unfortunately the panel has been reversed so that left has become right. Cowlings are moulded in situ and all the control surfaces are moulded separately and flaps can be dropped or raised. There is no facility to open the small cover on the upper wing for the flap actuator if the flaps are dropped so some surgery is required if you want your flaps deployed. The canopy is moulded in four main pieces with the

moulded in clear plastic. Two sets of markings are provided on the decal sheet along with all the required generic stencilling.

Plan of attack I very quickly decided that I could not live with the heavy rivet detail on the fuselage and a quick check of some archive references showed a very smooth finish to the front of the fuselage and the heavily rivetted rear, so I considered how best to improve what the kit provided and how to work around the reversed instrument panel. Rather than trying to fix the instrument panel I decided to add a Pilot to distract the viewer and fill the cockpit.

The big release from Revell for 2014 is their new Spitfire Mk.IIa, first seen at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in February and AIR Modeller was fortunate to receive an advanced test shot of the kit to build.

& polish



Above The strong rivet detail on the fuselage. Ironically assembly begins with instrument

the rudder pedals from my build and left

there can be no easy

panel and this assembles onto the cockpit

the fitting of the control column until the

short cuts and with time very

floor with detailed rudder pedal assembly

pilot was ready to be fitted. I painted the

limited I dug out an HGW fabric

and control column. The Pilot’s seat is

instrument panel in its flipped format and

Sutton Harness. This was a later

assembled from five parts and with no

added instrument dials using MDC decals,

style harness which I had to adapt by

moulded on seat belts you are free to add

hoping that at a quick glance it would all

adding the prominent brass rings and

them using your own choice of aftermarket

look correct.

holes down the straps. A punch and die was used to create the holes and MIG

supplier. I found locating the seat onto its


mounting frame a little tricky due to some

To crew my Spitfire I used one of the

Productions photoetched rings were added

rather vague location points but I got there

excellent Wings Cockpit Figures pilots, this

for a reasonably convincing finished

eventually. The cockpit side walls feature

one sculpted by Mike Good and it comes

appearance. With the Pilot in his seat the

separately moulded throttle and

with a choice of heads with different flying

harness was threaded through the

undercarriage controls along with the

helmet, goggle and face mask

bulkhead and secured and then glued into

oxygen bottles mounted behind the pilot.

combinations. The Pilot was painted with

place across his chest and here the

Detail on the side walls leans towards the

Lifecolor acrylics and he sits very nicely

flexible nature of the fabric belts was a

basic and there is plenty for the resin

into the bucket seat. The exposed seat

great help. The finishing touch was the

companies to exploit in terms of upgrade

harness system which is secured to the

oxygen hose which is one of the excellent

parts. To assist in fitting the pilot I deleted

bulkhead frame behind the pilot means

MDC flexible resin hoses. The completed

Left The cockpit in progress with the rudder pedals deleted to ease the fitting of the Pilot. Above The completed pilot strapped into his seat with an HGW fabric harness.

Above The completed cockpit tub fits easily into the fuselage.

cockpit forms a pleasing tub ready to be plugged into the fuselage, but this needs some work first.

Surface Detail In order to improve the look of the fuselage I decided to give a more subdued look to the rivets by filling and sanding them and for this I used Mr Dissolved Putty. This is a great product for this type of job as it has a reasonably thick consistency, dries quite

Above I used a chamfered tooth pick as a spatula to apply putty to the fuselage rivets. Below Once sanded the fuselage looked like this.

quickly and can then be sanded. I also tired spraying Mr Surfacer 500 on the ailerons but this takes several coats in order to dull the heavy rivets. Once the putty had dried I used sponge sanding sticks to remove the excess putty. It did not take long to have a much improved look to the fuselage. The next job was to add the raised rivet detail on the rear of the fuselage and to achieve this I used Archer Fine Transfers Surface Detail decals. These are small resin dots applied to a decal backing and applied as a normal decal with Gunze Mr Mark Softer. Working with thin strips the main longitudinal sections can be quickly laid down and once dry the vertical ribs are added. My references were a little lacking for rivet patterns


Above This cowling intake was too long for the recessed location point and it had to be cut down to fit. Above Archer’s Surface Detail rivets are applied in strips and handle just like decals and the decal film is invisible once properly dried making the whole process relatively quick and easy.

so I had to reply on the kit rivet patterns and a few online images to see which parts of the fuselage had the raised rivets. An overall sprayed coat of Mr Primer Surfacer 1000 was used to check the finish before moving on to fit the cockpit and close the fuselage (remembering to install the tail wheel and propeller shaft). Heavy rivets are also a feature of the ailerons, undercarriage doors and the undersides of the horizontal stabilizers so these were also filled and sanded for a better look. I fitted the small cowling scoops and bulges but found that the intake on the left hand cowling was too long for its location rebate. I was puzzled by the pair of tiny clear parts to fit on either side of the saddle fuel tank cover and could find no reference for these so I filled their location points. The wings assemble well and feature some excellent surface detail, the only slight hickups concerned the fit of the radiator and oil cooler on the underside as both were noticeably undersized for their rebated location points and required filling. Happily I can report that the complete wing assembly fits really snuggly with the fuselage with only a tiny touch of filler required to smooth the intersection of the trailing edge with the gloriously curved wing root. Before moving on to the paint it just remained to fit the canopies and mask them off and with the windscreen and rear section installed it all looked good. However offering up the armoured windscreen showed some alarming gaps and a basic failure to fit. I tried to shave as much as I could from the underside of the part to improve its fit but without much improvement. I then used a Micro chisel to cut away the lip of the mounted windscreen where it meets the fuselage and sits under the armoured glass. This 32

Below A coat of Mr Surfacer Primer allowed me to check the finish of the fuselage.

Above & below Some gaps around the radiators under the wing needed filling.

Above Careful trimming of the lip on the windscreen was done to try to improve the fit of the armoured glass.

Below The completed airframe, masked and ready for paint.

Above The part was at last fitted and the various gaps around its edges were filled.

Above The fuel filler cap seemed to be missing from my sprue so I made a replacement. Notice also the holes below the windscreen have been filled.


Above & below The sequence of colour application for the Spitfire showing the subtle variations in the base colours.


improved the fit but I then had to make good this area and paint it as it is visible through the armoured glass. I used AK interactive Sand & Gravel glue to fit the armoured glass but even then the fit was poor and with the lower edge flush to the fuselage the top edge was standing off the windscreen so that I had to tape it in place to dry. After this all the joint seams around the armoured glass had to be filled with Magic Sculp to resolve the various gaps between the two parts.

Painting For this I used Gunze acrylic paints diluted

Above The The kit decals performed well even over the rivetted rear fuselage.

with water to give a more matted satin finish than when diluted with Gunze thinners. A coat of H74 Sky was applied across the underside and around the fuselage in front of the tail for the fuselage band. The undersides were masked and a complete coat of H72 Dark Earth was sprayed. This colour was then lightened to three different shades which were used to lighten the centres of big panels and some of the inspection hatches as well as the spine of the fuselage. This was followed by some tedious masking for the green camouflage, which I did working from the kit instruction diagram for the decals. I used H73 Dark Green to apply the green camouflage and just like the brown, this was lightened and the panels shaded. Above Spots of oil colour applied to break up the uniform colour.

Above & below Picking out the panel lines with an oil wash.


With the paint applied I oversprayed a

overspill wiped away with a finger. The

coat future in preparation for adding the

panel lines were shaded by spraying a

decals. I used the kit decals to see how

dilute coat of transparent smoke along

they performed and the answer is really

them. Before applying a coat of satin

well! The only problematic area were the

varnish I added some chipped and scuffed

underwing roundels where they were

paint around the wing walkways using Mr

Ramirez to fit over a couple of bulbous

Model Color Chrome Silver which is a little

shapes on the wing so that a little

darker than their Aluminium. With the

touching up was required. The white areas

varnish on the model was really starting to

of the decals are very opaque and the red

come together!

centre spots for the roundels are printed separately. Also provided are the square

I wanted to try to recreate the fuel stains

masks for the gun ports along the leading

running down from the nose filler cap and

edge of the wing.

very visible in some archive photos. I used water-soluble Com Art colours to airbrush


the streaks onto the fuselage. I was then

I chose to start weathering directly over

able to use a wet brush to work into the

the varnish and this began by applying

streaks, create some darker opaque

small random dots of oil colour across the

edges and small cleaner areas. The same

airframe which were then blended by

Com Art colours were used to add

dragging a thinners dampened wide brush

exhaust stains. For the exhausts

across the model following the direction of

themselves I steered away from the rusty

the airflow. this breaks up the uniformity of

red exhaust look which is not accurate but

the colours and gives a dirty look to the

went for a dark grey brown. Pale pinky

previously pristine finish. With this dry the

shades were applied with the airbrush to

panel lines and rivets were picked out with

create the hot spots caused by the

diluted oil paint with any excess or

overlapping exhausts.

Walkway lightly dusted with pigments.

I flicked and spattered some different shades of thin colour over the wings to give them a more used appearance and I dusted the walkways with pigments.

Transparent Smoke airbrushed to shade the aileron.


Various diluted paint colours are spatterd from a stiff brush across the wings

Com Art water-soluble colours airbushed and then worked with a wet brush.

Panel lines shaded with airbrushed transparent smoke.

Oil wash to define the raised rivet details.

Brush painted Mr Metal Color Chrome Sliver.



Time to fit all those separate parts like the

How to sum up this kit? I came to it as a non-Spitfire

undercarriage, antennae mast and the sliding

enthusiast but if I was ever tempted to build one it would be

canopy. The canopy was a little reluctant to sit

one of the earlier marks like this Mk.IIa. I built it in a very short

into the rails on the fuselage and had to be super

time scale in order to hit our deadline which did mean that

glued into position. I used EZ Line for the

any holds ups like getting the windscreen to fit were

antenna wire and I cut away the large insulator

disproportionally frustrating. I remain puzzled by the mix of

on the top of the rudder because I could not see

rivet treatments across the airframe and the lack of raised

any evidence of them on the real aircraft.

rivet detail on the rear fuselage is something of an oversight.

I hope that I have showed that it need not be a critical flaw and can be corrected relatively quickly and easily. The instrument panel is less easy to fix but again I hope my solution of the Pilot provides a way around it. On the plus side the overall fit of the parts (except the windscreen) is exceptionally good and that always enhances the enjoyment and the moulding quality is great with really sharp panel lines. Bearing in mind the usual budget price point for Revell it would be hard to get too upset about this kit. On the contrary I am sure that the release of a modern Mk.IIa will be quite rightly applauded by many modellers.


Big Bird


BY DAVID PARKER In this installment of my B-17 build we pick up again with the work on the top turret that had begun in the previous installment. I managed to get some more reference material which has helped to fill in one or two blanks and allowed me to make sense of some of the things that were confusing me. Along with progressing the turret I also returned to undo some of the completed work on the nose weapons mounts. The arrival of the new Eduard Brassin .50 Cal Brownings showed me that it would be worthwhile to use these to replace the kit parts. I was also pleased to find an effective solution to the problem of the ammunition feed chutes for the guns. The plastic ones supplied with the kit did not allow for any variation is positioning and with the changes I had already made they simply would not connect up. Russian weapons specialists, Live Resin have released 1:35 flexible resin feed chutes for modern weapons but the design of the chutes is almost identical and any difference in scale imperceptible.

Work begins on the rail that carries the ammunition boxes. The two sets of three individual boxes were modelled as single units to make assembly simpler. The boxes will be visible hanging from the base of the turret.

The rails form a ‘V’ which hangs from the underside of the turret. The rail is test fitted to check that it locates on the turret ring at its three mounting points.


Situated on top of the ‘V’ shaped rails is the turret control handlebar arrangement. This was scratchbuilt working from photos of the real thing and at this stage has not yet been glued in place to allow clearances to be checked.

Test fitting the ammunition boxes against the rail. On the top of the mount the position of the cross piece between the guns has been reworked and moved forward to allow clearance for the ammunition feed chutes.

This is the base / footstep of the turret which is mounted on the cockpit floor. Happily I managed to evenly space the drilled holes in the base plate and avoided having to start all over again.

By this stage I had these sub assemblies but I was struggling to get the handlebar control to fit under the gunsight because I had failed to comprehend the overall height of the turret. Once I had the missing information that I needed it all made more sense and especially when I offered up the seated Spitfire Pilot I was working on, to judge how a crewman might fit into the cramped turret.

Here the overall height of the turret has been extended to the correct size and the two cut out areas in the original kit turret ring have been filled. Inside I added the two motors that control the elevation of the guns. Not exact replicas but enough to give an impression when viewed from above. Likewise I added the structure that sits behind the handlebar controls, fixing it to the wall of the turret so that the correct impression is created from the outside.

The pair of ammunition feed chutes were scratchbuilt from thin plastic sheet and here they are test fitted into position next to the guns. Everything is looking suitably complex!


Now the rail and associated fittings will fit into the turret and its looking pretty busy in there.

My next task was to test fit the new deeper turret and work out the size of the connecting legs which link the turret to the footplate. Here you can see how visible the turret mount is inside the cockpit.

Test fitting the turret legs inside the flight deck to test the sizes of the legs. Having the cockpit roof as a separate piece makes this job so much easier.

You get a sense here of how visible all the detail inside the top turret is here. Weapons upgrade time! Left you can see the differences in size between the Eduard Brassin gun and the larger HK version on the right. The HK Brownings vary in size across the kit, presumably to help cheat the confines of the thick walled plastic fuselage. I swapped them all for the new Brassin ones below, with the two on the right modified with chutes and hanging loops for the nose mounts.


I had been wondering how to deal with the flexible ammunition chutes when Live Resin came to my rescue with these stunning 1:35 scale chutes moulded in a black flexible resin. I painted them with Mr Metal Color acrylics and gave them a very light wash to pick out the detail. I glued one end to the gun and then fitted the gun into its window mount.

Once they had been allowed to dry thoroughly the belt was trimmed to the correct length and fitted to the ammunition box. The belt was also spot tacked to the fuselage wall to hold it in a natural looking position.

The waist guns received similar treatment although I had to join two belts together to reach the ammunition bins. The Brassin guns also come with new window mounts which enhance the finished external look too.


The Project continues in the next Issue

new releases

Wingnut Wings 1:32 Roland D.VIb


More exciting stuff from the highly respected Wingnut Wings ‘hanger’ which sees them revisit the Roland, tackling this time the D.VIb and re-using the distinctive overlapped plywood plank fuselage from the 2009 D.VIa. As we have now come to expect the quality of moulding is first rate with the fuselage superbly rendered right down to the ultra-delicate recessed nail heads across the surface and the control wire pulleys just in front of the tail fin. As usual there is a stunning fully detailed cockpit tub with photoetched seat harness and all you might need to add are the control lines with a rigging guide for these supplied in the state of the art instruction booklet. This kit features a new addition to the range of WNW engines with an impressive Benz Bz.IIIa. For the first time this engine comes with moulded on electrical wiring system which will save quite some time and looks very convincing. The sprue also provides a duplicate set of cylinders without the wiring although these are marked as not to be used.

The extreme detail fans should be able to use these to add their own wiring detail if desired. In common with all the other kits in the range the cowlings are separately moulded to allow all this engine detail to be easily seen. With the cockpit and engine complete and the fuselage closed you are required to cut away three circular access panels/vent ports from the fuselage nose and to make good the planking before adding a fresh port each side. It is not going to be easy getting a flawless finish where the detail is errased and probably best done before all the internals are placed inside the fuselage. The wings are supplied as two complete spans with the usual peg location points to the struts to make for problem-free assembly. Five schemes are provided on the Cartograph decal sheet including a very colourful captured American example. Aside from the issues connected with using the fuselage from the earlier kit this is another impressive addition to the fast-growing Wingnut Wings range.

Freedom 1:48 U.S. Navy UCAS X-47B Could we get any 'newer'? A brand new kit from a new manufacturer of the latest technology in combat aircraft, this Unmanned Combat Air System Pegasus looks more like a science fiction model with it's space-craft appearance. First impressions of a kit are usually the packaging which gets us off to a good start and lifting the lid reveals four large sprues, two containing the upper and lower body structure (could you still call it a fuselage?!), a large decal sheet and small photoetch fret. The mid-grey styrene is perfect for showing the superb surface detail, very delicate indeed which is needed on such a simple large shape. The quality of moulding throughout the kit is very impressive and many options are offered such as folded wings, open air brakes, landing gear and arrestor hook down and open

weapons bays with nicely done GBU-32 ordnance to show off and remains quite visible when the aircraft is stood on it's wheels, perhaps a good focal point of the finished piece due to the lack of a cockpit. Instructions are of a regular format and well presented with a colour insert included for paint and decals. The decal sheet is very detailed and includes options for all of the U.S. Navy carriers, the print is fine and sharp but our sample has a couple of glossy mottled areas on the solid blacks, something that would disappear under the usual final coat of clear varnish. A very impressive first release from Freedom and brave of them to tackle such a 'different' subject, certainly a recommended out of the box project. Our thanks to Freedom Model Kits for the sample.


new releases

Wingnut Wings 1:32 Roland C.II


Every time a parcel from Wingnuts arrives at the office it's tools down! It's no secret that we're massive fans of these kits and as our esteemed Editor is in China at the moment it's my chance to pop the lid on not one but two new releases direct from the guys in New Zealand. Everything about these kits just oozes quality; the grey sprues are all individually bagged and the detail and finesse is as good as ever. A unique sprue 'F' features the C.II wings with wire trailing edges and shortened rib tape detail. Along with the grey plastic there's a couple of small clear sprues (curtains at the fuselage windows de rigeur!) and a neat little photoetch fret with gun barrel sleeves and seat belts. The instruction booklet is the usual high quality, full colour production, with assembly diagrams

and period reference shots 'holding the hand' of even the most novice of Great War aviation modellers guiding through the project from start to finish. Another regular feature is the large decal sheet with five options, albeit a little bland with black markings on light or white finishes for all. The Daimler-Mercedes D.III engine is worthy of display on it's own and is highly detailed from the box, as is the cockpit with delicate frameworks, bulkheads and controls. The seats are always a nice feature on this period of aircraft with nicely rendered buttoned leather to contrast against the photoetched seatbelts. Another beauty which you'll want to add to the collection.

Wingnut Wings 1:32 Roland C.IIa (late) The later version of the C.II is also offered with kit 32041. It's hard to believe it's only five years since Wingnut Wings released their first kit and this is their thirty-ninth with no sign of slowing down, it's hard to imagine modelling WWI aircraft without them as a choice now. As you'd expect, there's a lot shared with the C.II kit but there's still enough differences to justify treating yourself to both! The main visual differences are the tail fin shape, MG placements and exhaust muffler. Also offered are optional engine cooling louvers, 12.5kg PuW bomb rack and cockpit detail. An interesting feature for modellers are the finishing options for these late versions, by 1916 more regular camouflage colours were

introduced with five aircraft offered with variations on a theme. More features of note with these kits are the optional assembly of the machine guns, more experienced modellers can choose the photoetched cooling sleeves which look superb and an excellent selection of photos in the instructions of crashed Rolands which would make challenging dioramas. Wingnut kits are available from a few specialist suppliers Worldwide but the most popular way to purchase is direct from The Air Modeller Guide to Wingnut Wings Vol.1 sold out quickly but is still available as a digital book and Volume 2 is in progress.

Mushroom Model Publications Scale Plans sets We've received a taster sample of some plans from five new MMP sets. The plans are printed black only on quality A3 sheets bound into an A4 cover with the line-work highly detailed and sharply defined with delicately produced rivets across all views. is the place to go for more details of these great value sets. Scale Plans No.3 MiG 15, 1:48 and 1:32 plans of all versions ISBN:978-83-63678-34-0

Scale Plans No.4 PZL.23 Karaś, 1:48 and 1:72 plans of versions .23, .42/.43 and .46 ISBN:978-83-63678-35-7 Scale Plans No.5 A6M Zero, 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 plans of all versions ISBN:978-83-63678-36-4 Scale Plans No.6 IA-58 Pucara, 1:72 and 1:48 plans of all versions ISBN:978-83-63678-33-3 Scale Plans No.7 Me262 A Schwalbe, 1:48 and 1:32 plans of all 'A' versions ISBN:978-83-63678-43-2


new releases

Luftwaffe Im Focus Edition No.22 Axel Urbanke Published by Luftfahrtverlag-Start Soft back format A4, 50 pages, German / English text ISBN 978-3-9811042-8-8 This is the latest in a series of books collating and documenting unpublished photographs, some in glorious colour, of the Luftwaffe by knowledgable enthusiasts of the subject. A nice mix of subjects is presented including Sea Planes, specialist equipment, heavy fighters, fighters, documentation and more. The photographs are definitely the focus here with detailed text captions, there are some superb images which are instant modelling inspiration and reference (especially the genuine colour shots) with some equally

nice colour profiles mixed in for good measure. Of particular interest to us modellers is a section on personal emblems and tail markings with some excellent close-ups of damage. The book opens with a 'readers forum' with additional information and corrections to previous volumes, a nice feature to document information from a wide source. Highly recommended to Luftwaffe modellers and enthusiasts.

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Dariusz Karnas Published by Mushroom Model Publications Soft back format B5, 152 pages


The ever popular modelling subject, the MiG-15, is presented in this second edition of MMP's Yellow series. These chunky little books always impress with the sheer volume of valuable reference information packed inside and this is a great example. Pretty much everything is covered in a very usable, visual layout with MiGs produced by Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and China with their production variations highlighted. The best of the modelling reference is provided by a very comprehensive walk-around of

colour photographs of numerous preserved aircraft in great detail inside and out. Period technical diagrams also provide unique reference along with 1:72 plans (available also separately in 1:48 and 1:32 in MMP's new releases of Plan Sets) and a bumper serving of thirty six pages of high quality colour profiles of some fantastic schemes. A great comprehensive reference, highly recommended.

Revell 1:32 Hawker Hunter FGA.9/Mk.58 Back out again is Revell's Hawker Hunter in big 1:32 scale, fans of this kit will be pleased that it's the full version FGA.9 / Mk.58 which includes decals and parts to to build the Swiss version still serving in the early 1990s. This is a beautiful kit of a beautiful aircraft which will need no introduction to enthusiasts, the kit thankfully looks to remain unchanged with the box art and two new decal options being all that stand out as different (even Revell's cat.No. 04703 remains). It's immediate why this kit is hailed as one of Revell's best in thirty-second, the detail is still super-sharp belying the tooling's age of fifteen or so years, the pale grey sprues giving the modeller a very good idea that this is a substantial kit which

will build into a model with real presence. Nothing is skipped with the two versions, options of seats and instrument facia, fuel tanks and Maverick missiles to name a few but interesting to compare the two versions which served thirty years apart, not a great deal changed visually, testament to this classic British design. The decal sheet is a beauty also, very busy and very comprehensive with dense colours and pleasing matt finish. The RAF version is from No.1 Squadron West Raynham, 1963 and the Swiss Air Force from Emmen, March 1994. Check out the price of this kit and you're sure to pick up at least two! Revell kits are available at good toy and hobby retailers

Revell 1:72 Blohm & Voss BV222 'Wiking' Another welcome re-release of the mighty "Viking", although small in scale this is one enormous aircraft kit with a fuselage length of over 630mm. This long haul monster was originally equipped with six petrol engines and later with diesel units allowing refuelling at sea by U-Boats, six of the thirteen production aircraft survived the war if I'm not mistaken. Both an early (V1) and later V2 are provided with the decal sheet which appears different from the original release of this kit, although a re-release, this kit is still one of Revell's newer toolings with excellent crisp moulding and nice fine surface details. A fair amount of work goes into the interior

with very little on show unless you decide to leave the cargo doors open, the detail included certainly looks to be more than adequate for what will be seen including internal floors and bulkheads. The multi-part engines can be displayed with open cowls and the floats modelled up or down all with very good detail. Due to the size of this kit I'd expect the joining of the fuselage halves and separate nose section a time consuming task which will drink the liquid cement! As always with Revell, this is a huge amount of modelling for your money, a must for Luftwaffe fans if you missed picking one up first time around.


new releases

German Fighters Volume 1, Me.Bf 109 Dominique Breffort, André Jouineau Published by Histoire and Collections Sorftback format, 144 pages ISBN 978-2-35250-332-3 A bit of a treat for Luftwaffe fans with these two new releases from H&C, building on and much improving from their previous (out of print) 'Planes and Pilots' series. This first volume covers the '109 in all of it's guises from 1936 to 1945 with beautiful visual presentation and no less than six hundred profile illustrations! A great selection of period photographs in black and white and genuine colour make this one of those books that's hard to avoid a quick flick through. Along with the wealth of colour profiles to

excite the modeller there's maintenance marking placement and an 'at a glance' JG markings guide and call-outs of changes and variants provided as diagrams. If you've any '109 planned there's so many to choose from starting with Condor Legion aircraft right through to post-war Spanish, Czech and Israeli Air Forces. A great single source for modellers looking for colour reference and markings, highly recommended.

German Fighters Volume 2 Dominique Breffort, André Jouineau Published by Histoire and Collections Sorftback format, 192 pages ISBN 978-2-352503-332-3


Following on in the same format this volume covers Bf 110, Me 210, Me 410, Fw 190, Me 262, Me 163 and He 162. This book again is beautifully presented and hard to put down with a great compilation of both profile illustrations and colour and black and white photographs. Volume 2 carries a little more text due to the coverage of numerous aircraft (all in English as is volume 1) and

includes different marques features as diagrams which will be invaluable to the more novice Luftwaffe modeller but also equally appealing to the more knowledgeable enthusiast with the high quality presentation. Another cracking production and excellent value. Many thanks to Casemate, the UK distributors, for our samples.










48257 32080

32081 32082 32083 Scale Aircraft Conversions New releases to catch up on from SAC adding to their range of detailed white metal landing gears. In 1:72 72083 For Airfix’s Harrier GR.1/3, 72084 for Revell’s Tornado GR.1(1998 and on tooling) and 72085 for the Su-24 Fencer boxed by many brands. In 1:48 is 48251 for Kitty Hawk’s SH-2, 48252 for Academy’s CH53/MH-53, 48253 is designed for the Hobby Boss A-6 Intruder, 48254 for the Zoukei-Mura J7W1 Shinden, 48256 for Trumpeter’s T-38 Talon and 48257 providedes two sets of gear for the Kinetic / Wingman releases.

In 1:32 there’s some major metalwork to give good support to those big scale beasts starting with 32080 for Kitty Hawk’s T-6 Texan, 32081 is designed for the Hasegawa N1K2-J George and a kit we built a short while ago, the Meteor from HK Models gets complete legs and splash guards in set 32082. Finally in thirtysecond is 32083 for Revell’s P-38 Lightning which has improved details. is the place to visit online for details of their vast range and where to get your hands on them. Our thanks to SAC for the sample sets, all the way from Dallas, Texas!


new releases

Douglas F3D Skyknight José Fernandez and Przemystaw Skulski Published by Mushroom Model Publications Soft back format B5, 136 pages Another compact reference to add to the library in MMP's yellow series, this No. 6135 concentrates on the original 'Willy the Whale', the Skyknight all-weather / night fighter which served in the Korean War and also as a electronics platform in the Vietnam conflict. Following the tried and tested formula of this series, this little book is packed with visual reference and relevant text including design and development background and operational history. All versions are covered of the F3D with some excellent photographs and top

quality colour profiles. Some original diagrams are reproduced with great cockpit reference and to help the modeller further, a set of fold-out plans are included in 1:72 and a series of colour walkaround reference shots of preserved Skyknights concentrates on areas we tend to add detail to such as the cockpit, wing folds and landing gear. A very worthwhile and inexpensive companion for anyone planning an F3D build of the old Matchbox release in 1:72 (with those plans included) or indeed the Czech Models kit in 1:48.

Pflaz- Fighter Aircraft from the Rheinland, The Wine Country Tomasz J Kowalski Published by Kagero Sorftback A4 format, 72 pages ISBN 978-8-3628783-61


The Pflaz, although eventually considered inferior to the Albatros D.V and D.Va or Fokker D.VII and many Allied fighters, was still the third most common aircraft used by the Luftstreitkrāfte (Imperial Army Air Service). Fulfilling a role of a 'combat ready' fighter, there were some very elegant looking aircraft which make great looking modelling subjects especially versions offered by Wingnut Wings in 1:32. This book documents the development and combat history of the D.III/ D.IIIa and D.VIII and D.XII in German service and also

serving Poland and Turkey including post Great War. The collection of over seventy photographs throughout vary in quality due to the period when taken, but the colour profiles are a delight being illustrated by Mr Ronny Bar, the benchmark for WWI aviation profiles. Some original factory drawings are reproduced rounding off a nice reference on the subject for enthusiasts and modellers alike.


Aleksandar Šekularac builds the Russian transporter in Serbian service

ugoslavia was a country with very unique geopolitical and historic circumstances. This spot of land has been a melting pot for clashing cultures through many centuries, defying sense to outsiders and producing many brilliant and some very dark instances of human condition. Yugoslavia’s legacy in aviation is appropriately eclectic as well. Nieuports, Avias and Polikarpovs, Hurricanes, Messerschmitts, Sturmoviks, Spitfires and Thunderbolts, “Tante Ju-s” and DC-3s, Dorniers and Petliakovs, MiGs and Sabres are just some of the improbable companions working there together. Antonov An-26 is another notable

ingredient in this spicy dish. Since its introduction in 1975-76, this type faithfully served through the changing times, from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, through Serbia and Montenegro and ultimately Republic of Serbia. There are few of the original 15 airframes that survived the civil war and subsequent NATO bombardment, to continue their active service to this day. The subject of my article is one of these aircraft: An-26 unit number 71364. This machine has a personal connection also, as it was stationed in the Niš Airbase, where I spent my mandatory year of service a long time ago and my good buddy was in the

maintenance crew for this aircraft. With such a past, one would expect quite a bit of character accumulating on the airframe. The 364 certainly has that. I wanted to portray the machine as it appeared in 2008, just before it’s trip to Rostov on Don, to be generally overhauled. The camouflage shows long years of use and several retouches with various paints. New Serbian markings are applied over the dark-brownish patches, covering previous iteration of heraldry. Some good period photos of this aircraft can be found online, alas scattered in various forums and galleries.


Customising the kit


The obvious starting point for this subject is one of the Amodel boxes in 1:72 scale. Amodel has built a reputation for bringing us accurate kits of USSR aviation subjects. Their mixed media (fibreglass/styrene) kits of the really big machines from the socalled “Amonster” series are particularly notable. An-26 however is a standard issue, white-styrene kit. It is wellengineered and accurate, with fine and

realistic surface details – in fact more refined and “to scale” than some more celebrated hobby companies. The down side is its low pressure injection technology that leaves a lot of flash, sinks and casting imperfections at the modelers discretion. This is however a minor discomfort for those of keen interest. I decided early on to build the aircraft with its cargo ramp closed. I like the stance of

An-26 on tarmac with its low nose clearance and long overhanging rear fuselage, defying expectation to tip over. Of course, my fear that the model WILL tip over and sit on its tail in this configuration was fully founded. The strategy was to omit all unnecessary internal details aft of the main landing gear and hope to place enough fishing lead in the hollow radome to stabilize the finished model.

The fuselage is divided in front and rear parts. Common wisdom would suggest joining them first, before fixing port and starboard together. I decided otherwise and first started work on the relatively complex loading gate and tail assembly. Amodel made an odd breakdown of parts here, yet when cleaned, dry-fitted and adjusted, it all goes smoothly together. I left things mostly as per the kit in the cockpit, with only minor improvements to the seats and some spare decals to complement the less-than-exciting ones

provided. I didn't expect much to be visible through the small windshield windows, once the model is finished. The navigators blister itself is, however, a prominent detail and on the real airplane actually consisting of two elements: a sealed spherical dome (covering the circular opening to the cockpit) and a transparent aerodynamic fairing, which is attached to the fuselage skin itself. I wanted to build mine just the same.The transparency from the kit was trimmed and filled with epoxy for stability, to serve as a

master for a new part. I made a separate master for the spherical dome from a piece of plastic turned on my Dremel tool. I pulled several copies of both pieces on my vacuum-former and selected then the best samples to work with. Looking through the Perspex sphere, the main focus point is on the large bombsight: NKPB-7, tried and true since the GPW days. Yes, if needs be An-26 can be armed with bombs, but this device is mainly used for navigation. I scratch-built the sight “the old-school way”from the scrap box.

Next on the agenda were the nacelles. Apart from the engines, they also house the main landing gear and on the starboard side the APU. On the outer side of both nacelles big cylindrical turbine exhausts dominate the view. They consist of the external casing and inner exhaust pipe on the real plane. Only the outer cylinders, cast in two halves, are given in the kit. I used the kit parts and thinned them considerably from the inside so that I can slide in the coaxial tube made of a drinking straw. I also remade the casing fasteners from thin strips of brass. When engines spool-up for take off these exhausts glow with heat and when everything cools down the inner pipe turns cobalt blue. The propeller hubs are cast in two parts,

front and rear,they are messy blobs of plastic straight from the sprue! I cleaned them as much as possible and then fixed them to a length of steel tubing for turning on my Dremel. Steel tubing will later be a propeller shaft. Air inlets for the engine are moulded shut. I opened them up by placing the front fairing part flat on sandpaper and sanding away the thickness of the back wall. The main landing gear legs are supported in the engine nacelles by two lateral bushings. These bushings are cast on the inside walls of nacelle halves, so to fix the landing gear you have to sandwich it when you join them together. I noticed that the legs could pivot in these bushings and retract inside the bay, just like on the real aircraft. I decided therefore to finish, paint

and weather the landing gear before assembly. I will store the legs in retracted position until the whole model is painted and ready and then simply extend them for final fixing with drops of superglue through the open undercarriage bay. I finally added hydraulic lines and other small details. Nacelles needed some more attention. There is a sloping, recessed flap on the underside of each engine, just ahead of the main landing gear bay, which is represented in the kit with just a flat panel outline. I wasn’t happy with this detail so I decided to open it up and make it more realistic. Firewalls were also added on both sides, to prevent direct view from the inlet of the engine to the landing gear bay and exhaust ports.

The kit provides no positive location for the exhaust pipes. Two homemade mounts for the exhausts were therefore fashioned out of bits of styrene and secured inside the nacelles. Everything was painted black in preparation for the assembly. After gluing the nacelle halves together I shaped the opening for the air flap to its final appearance using a scalpel, file and sandpaper. At this point the main legs are already

installed and stowed in retracted position. I therefore covered the bay opening with paper to protect them from mishaps. I made small slot-doors for the main landing gear hatches out of strip of metal. This was much easier than cleaning and thinning the kit parts. I could now finally assess the weight distribution of the main components and determine how much ballast I need to add to the nose section.


A combination of fishing lead and ball bearings was secured in a bath of epoxy glue in both sides of the front fuselage. After all the interior details had been completed I could focus on assembling the airframe. Note the pegs I made from scrap plastic for better alignment of the front and rear fuselage. Round windows of the cargo bay are in place and now masked with pieces of tape, to protect them from any scratches. Time to smooth things out… People use various tools for applying putty; mine is a wooden toothpick. Sliced at an angle with a scalpel, to create small flat area. Parallel with puttying, I was adding rows of rivets. I did not represent every rivet from the real aircraft, but rather concentrate on the most visible ones according to the references I have. I removed the central rail for the loading ramp on the lower side of the fuselage and rebuilt it using thin styrene strips and some brass sheet for details. The radome was repaired as well. Hinges for the front dome and the longitudinal reinforcement strips were lost in the


process of sanding and puttying the fuselage, so they needed a remake. A piece of sprue is used as a main wingspar. Always good to keep those straight pieces of kit frames for some later use; this time mainly to reinforce the outer wing sections and help with setting of the proper anhedral. The transparent parts of the kit were up next for treatment. There are several small navigation and position lights in the kit. To represent reflector bulb inside the enclosures simply drill a blind hole from the base of the part and then apply transparent paint inside. The base of the part is then painted silver to give it some reflectivity. After gluing the transparent pieces to the airframe sand and polish to level everything with the surface. There is a red warning light enclosure at the root of the vertical stabilizer that has a distinct metal fairing around it. To represent this fairing I used thin strips of adhesive tape as a border and then applied a layer of putty between these lines. Sand, polish and repeat if necessary. After a couple of

iterations I’ve obtained the result I was looking for. The internal side of the main canopy was sanded down to a less absurd thickness and then polished. The windshield panels are engraved so finely that all my efforts to transfer the shapes to a piece of paper, or masking tape failed. I therefore used thin strips of masking tape, to trace the frames along the engraved lines, so that I can get a positive template. Then it was a simple task of covering this with yellow Tamiya tape and tracing the shapes with a pencil. As a result I’ve got painting mask that I could cut out with scissors and apply over the windshield windows. Static dischargers are not regularly represented on models, especially in this scale, yet they do add another level of realism. Positioned at the trailing edges of wingtips and tail surfaces, they are best represented by short lengths of nylon monofilament. I made few cuts with a razor saw into the surface and anchored the nylon thread with superglue.

Painting process

The whole model was now coated with Surfacer 1000 and painting could begin. The “Tan” was used for the radome and the tip of the vertical stabilizer. They will be painted light blue, but I wanted to provide some base for chipping paint. A few grains of salt wetted with water are applied in the most exposed places and then the blue coat is sprayed. I used Bright Blue and added white to find the shade I was looking for. None of the readily available light blue shades really cut it for me.

Then came Alclad Dull Aluminum for the de-icing panels on the leading edges of all the flying surfaces and also some “Burnt Metal” Metalizer for the inside of the APUs exhaust and Dark Aluminium for the outside with some soft blending of the two at the nozzle.

I prepared small subassemblies for the propellers and painted the front ends of the hubs blue. The propeller blades will be painted and weathered separately and then aligned properly into the hubs.

Model Master “Bright Blue” gets used a lot on this model, as I mixed it again with “Fulcrum Gray”, to get my own shade for lower surfaces. Surprisingly, none of the dozen jars of different light blues I have didn’t come close to what I found in the

reference pictures. After the main coat, I sprayed thin layers of a slightly modified mix to break-up the uniformity and also enhanced some of the panels with blackish-brown shadows.

I don’t rely on the pre-shading technique as much as I did in the past, but I still decided to do it here, as the camouflage is relatively light and quite weather-beaten.


Camo colours I wanted to accurately represent repairs in camouflage done on the real aircraft. Big areas on both sides of the forward fuselage section received what seems to be a much darker version of the green color, here represented by mix of: RLM 70 and AMT 11. I traced the shapes on the printed line drawings and then cut out the masks. After the full camouflage was done, I sprayed the model with Future (Klear) diluted with alcohol. This simple yet effective coat is a good way to seal the paintjob and prepare the model for decaling and oil washes. The demarcation of two colors is quite sharp on the real machine, so I used “Blu-tack” rolled into ropes and layed out the shapes on the surface of the model. For the grey I used Dark Ghost Grey + Fulcrum Grey both by MM (Model Master) and the green was mixed from RAF Interior Green also by MM and WEM’s AMT 12. Noticeably darker patches of the new colour applied over the old national insignia indicate no effort of blending with the existing camouflage. If anything, a strong contrast is achieved. I mixed Xtracolor’s RLM 70 Schwarzgrün with WEM’s AII Brown in more or less 50 - 50 ratio for these and sprayed it through a paper mask.

The model then received a wash with a very diluted oil mix of burnt umber, black and grey. Apart from highlighting the panel lines and rivets, this technique is used for light streaking and general discoloration of the camouflage. I didn’t apply it uniformly but tried to concentrate on areas that show more grime on real aircraft. In general, tail end and underside are always prone to collect more dirt.

The final coat of MM Clear Matt varnish was applied when I was satisfied with the final appearance of the model. The remaining small details were attached: antennae, probes and homemade windshield wipers. The main antennae is from ‘invisible’ thread with insulators from pieces of styrene. Landing gear was dropped and fixed into position and my AN was finished.


This kit goes together well without any major problems. While not to be confused with the newest “no putty required” marvels, this kit holds no nasty surprises and will greatly reward the modeller willing to have a little patience.

Companies like Amodel are real champions of the scale modeling industry for me. Without to much pomp they continue to bring interesting, well researched and honestly produced subjects, offering a breath of fresh air to hobbyists looking for something less prosaic.



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